Albertz Benda is pleased to announce Annabel Daou: a million times, the first exhibition of Daou’s work with the gallery in the project space at 515 West 26th Street. Daou uses the repetition of language, sound, and gesture to explore how semblances of order emerge from and are subsumed by chaos. Her works are often constructed out of lightweight, seemingly ephemeral materials, which she is drawn to out of a desire to indicate magnitude with as little matter as possible.
At the center of this exhibition is an expansive work, titled a million x, constructed from fine Japanese papers, torn plastic bags, and long scrolls of repair tape, upon which Daou has hand-scrawled the mark x exactly one million times. Imposing and yet suggestive of disintegration, the work registers the desperate ambition to grasp or control the immeasurable. In an accompanying sound piece, Daou can be heard writing and counting off the x’s she has completed. Through a polyphony that swells and subsides in waves, the act of mark making is captured in its feverishness and monotony.
Additionally, the show will feature a new ‘book of hours’ from an ongoing series by Daou that references medieval illuminated manuscripts. These works examine different aspects of temporality, while interrogating the obsessive human desire to hold the days of our lives in our hands. The book Daou has created for this exhibition explores the language surrounding ‘the blue hour’: the period approximately forty minutes before sunrise and forty minutes after sunset. The ambiguity of this particular time, which is neither day nor night, is associated by turns with foreboding and possibility. Daou has culled the language used in this piece from history, mythology, literature and song.
The project as a whole foregrounds Daou’s interest in the emotional, political and social power of common language, and, in the case of a million x, of the most basic mark.
On October 29th from 5:30-8pm Daou will present her ongoing project, Fortune, in the gallery. Members of the public are solicited to partake in an intimate exchange, presenting their palms to Daou who transcribes their fortunes onto paper for a fee. Website: annabeldaoufortune.com
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Annabel Daou (b. 1967) was born in Lebanon and lived there until 1985 when she moved to New York to attend Barnard College. Her most recent solo exhibition Your Secret Is Safe With Me opened at Galerie Tanja Wagner in Berlin in 2014. Recent and upcoming group exhibitions include: What We Call Love, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2015); Territoire d'Affects, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut (2015); Art=Text=Art: Private Languages/Public Systems, UB Anderson Gallery, The University at Buffalo, New York (2014). Fortune, her ongoing silent fortune-telling project, has taken place in numerous art and non-art contexts including MoMA PS1, Whitebox, and the Global Art Forum in Dubai. Daou is co-founder of dBfoundation (dbfoundation.org), dedicated to creating and fostering ephemeral edifices and intangible structures; she is also co-founder of S2A (s2anyc.com), a platform for art based in New York. She is currently based in New York.